Stewardship and Apologetics


#1

Where does the concept of Stewardship fit into the messages of Apologetics. Clearly the US Bishops in the Pastoral Letter, “STEWARDSHIP: A DISCIPLES RESPONSE” copyright 1992 US Bishops Conference is an important document for the faithful of the Catholic Church to read and follow, but what is the Biblical basis for this concept of using our God given gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure for the glory of God? What about Tithing and Charitable Gifting Programs? Is 10% required of a engaged Catholic Steward or is 10% not really enough when one understands the gifts that God has provided for us all?
As a Presbyterian convert to the Catholic Church, these concepts were very familiar to me, but very foreign to the cradle Catholics around me. Why is this the case? Stewardship brought me to Apologetics and back to my Biblical upbringing. So this thread is about Stewardship and Apologetics. I would like everyone to provide me with a Biblical basis for Stewardship. The early posts will get the easy verses and citations so have fun and think hard; What Bible Verses Provide the Biblical Basis for Stewardship? Try not to duplicate citations, unless you have additional thoughts on a verse and its applications to Stewardship. As the Catholic Church teaches, works, not just belief in Jesus, are the basis of salvation. As the Pastoral says, “Once one chooses to become a Disciple of Christ, Stewardship is not an option.”


#2

Stewardship is giving because you can – doing what you can with the talents you have.

To me, 10% is an annoyingly picky number. I think in Malachia when God promised the floodgates, He was picking 10% as a minimum number, showing how miniscule the effort of stewardship can be.

Many Catholics (and non-Catholics for that matter) don’t understand stewardship because they are too attracted to the Newtonian model of transactional physics and action/reaction. They have been, for many years, using terms like “holding ourselves accountable” which is exactly an opposite mindset from stewardship. Stewardship is not paying what is owed, for we could never pay God what is owed. It is not about “accountability” because that almost always turns into a secret codeword for “make sure everyone is given enough – especially those with children in the school.”

Some dioceses, like ours, have recently tried to embrace Stewardship, but they don’t understand the 1992 doctrine. They believe roughly that time and talent are important as well as treasure, so they have gotten so far as to ask for all three, but they still don’t know why. Stewardship program talks inevitably list, if not outright focus on, the needs of the parish for money. This is wrong, as stewardship is not about the needs of the Church to receive, but of the steward to give.

Stewardship is an attitude of abandonment to self and an acknowledgement that the Body of Christ truly lives in everyone. It is an insatiable desire to to good things in gratitude that we are blessed the ability to do so. It is following Christ, and doing things for people who cannot do us good in return. Of course, ideally we would do things for people and not even know what is done – which is part of why we give money entrusted to the Church for her use and/or distribution.

Alan


#3

bump

If this bump doesn’t take I’ll assume this either is not an interesting topic, or we have done a poor job of setting it up.

Alan


#4

I think this is a good verse:

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

St. Paul’s words here commend charitable almsgiving in a regulated manner:

2 Cor 8:8 I speak not as commanding; but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich he became poor, for your sakes; that through his poverty you might be rich. 10 And herein I give my advice; for this is profitable for you, who have begun not only to do, but also to be willing, a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform ye it also in deed; that as your mind is forward to be willing, so it may be also to perform, out of that which you have. **12 For if the will be forward, it is accepted according to that which a man hath, not according to that which he hath not. 13 For I mean not that others should be eased, and you burthened, but by an equality. 14 In this present time let your abundance supply their want, that their abundance also may supply your want, that there may be an equality, 15 As it is written: He that had much, had nothing over; and he that had little, had no want. **

hurst


#5

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